Inside Conditions–The Ostrich Syndrome

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The Ostrich Syndrome is defined by urbandictionry.com as: A peculiar condition marked by the person making absolutely nonsensical statements displaying pure stupidity and lack of common sense, see if this makes sense.

According to the espn.com page 2 mailbag the following are the top ten sports scandals ever. The list is ranked according to the number of letters received.

1. 1919 Black Sox Scandal.

2. Soviet Union beats United States in 1972 men’s Olympic basketball final.

3. SMU Football receives the “death penalty.”

4. Roy Jones Jr. loses decision after pummeling South Korea’s Si Hun Park in light middleweight final at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.

5. Pete Rose betting-on-baseball scandal.

6. Danny Almonte Little League age scandal (26 letters).

7. Skategate I, starring Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan.

8. University of Minnesota hoops academic cheating scandal.

9.1993 Florida State football “free shoes” scandal.

10. Jim Thorpe loses his pentathlon and decathlon Olympic gold medals.

[The “dishonorable mentions” were:

1. Skategate II: Canadian pairs and Russian pairs end up sharing gold medals.

2. Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Marvin Hagler.

3. Brett Hull’s skate in the crease as Dallas beats Buffalo in 1999 Stanley Cup finals.

4.  Tank Black-Florida scandal.

The New England Patriots/Bill Belichick “spygate” scandal did not even merit a mention? Did espn.com or any other sports news outlets receive negative feedback from readers, listeners and viewers and toss those “letters of dissent” into the nearest trash can as a part of the “editorial process?”

Who knows, I darn sure don’t but this is some weird sh–.  Let’s kick off the analysis of yours truly regarding the so-called “worst scandals” beginning with  10. Jim Thorpe loses his pentathlon and decathlon Olympic gold medals.

One of the people that submitted letters to the espn.com mailbag was Steve Averett  of Charlotte, N.C., who had this to say about the Jim Thorpe travesty. Tough choice, but I’m going with the Jim Thorpe scandal. Thorpe was systematically and maliciously discriminated against entirely because of his ethnic background. I consider him to be the greatest athlete in U.S. history. If Thorpe’s medals had not been stripped, he would have had a more illuminating legacy and would have certainly opened the door for a greater number of American Indians to achieve their dreams. The message that was sent at the time was heard loud and clear: American Indians will not be allowed to win, even when they’re the best.  Perhaps our country would have had a Lakota Nobel Prize winner, a Sioux World War II general, or a Cherokee congressman had Thorpe gotten the respect he deserved. Instead, White America chose to stain his image and paint him as a “cheater,” merely because the man played a few games of minor-league baseball. Why should doors have to be opened for American Indians or any other group have to be opened in order to be treated equitably and for them just to function normally within our society? This country was forcibly taken from Native Americans, who would be foolish or naive enough to even consider that they (Native Americans) would ever be treated fairly in the world of sports, business, medicine or any other segment of American society by the now White minority.   How can anyone in their right mind whine about the “Black Sox” scandal which happened about 95 years ago but whisper in hallowed tones regarding the biggest cheaters uncovered.

When Brady changed a play at the line of scrimmage based on deciphering stolen defensive signals he was just as guilty as Bill Belichick and the other participating “masterminds” and “videographers and film makers” who devised and carried out the scheme in the first place.  If you and your friends go to a “Mickey D’s” to grab a “Big Mac” and they decide to rob the bank next door and you drive them home, you are going to presumed to be just as guilty as they are.

On May 16, 1994 Sports Illustrated published an article written by Sonja Steptoe and E.M. Swift titled  “Anatomy Of A Scandal” regarding certain members of the Florida State football team receiving various “illegal” gifts and favors. The subtitle read: Florida State won the 1993 national football championship, but because of unsavory agents; rule-breaking players and its own lack of vigilance, it ended up a loser. The most brazen episode was a midseason, two-handed, shelf-clearing, 90-minute shopping spree by members of the Florida State team that would go on to win college football’s national championship.

Running shoes galore. Team jackets of all colors. Dozens of hats, t-shirts, shorts and gloves. Winter coats that the players could wear to South Bend for the big game against the Fighting Irish. Some $6,000 worth of merchandise in all, armloads and armloads, large cartons crammed full, every item purchased on the credit card of Raul Bey, a Las Vegas businessman who was in a loose partnership with a street agent named Nate Cebrun.

The article described the incident a “brazen episode.”  What could be more brazen than illegally stealing your opponents’ defensive and offensive signals, game after game, season after season and year after year. These young athletes were not “legally” paid one dime yet the Patriots prospered from their ill gotten gains.

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